Our feet do a lot for us. They carry us around all day, bear the brunt of our morning jog and endure countless evenings in uncomfortable and restrictive shoes.
Despite all this, they are usually sorely neglected! A healing foot massage is one way you can treat our feet while benefiting your whole body. Reflexology involves applying pressure to the feet in order to affect a physical change in the body. Placement of the pressure is based on a complex system of zones and reflex areas that correspond to other parts of the body.
Both simple foot massage and reflexology can offer a surprising number of health benefits including the following:
Better Sleep: Just one of the incredible benefits of reflexology is its ability to help you overcome disturbed sleeping patterns and insomnia. Massaging your feet before you go to bed will help you relax and let go of the day’s stresses. To enjoy a really deep sleep, pay special attention to the solar plexus reflex which houses a lot of your stress.
Improved Circulation: Thanks to our sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise and restrictive footwear our circulation is often impaired. Ever endure cold or numb feet? Get a tingling in your toes for no reason? Or perhaps you suffer chilblains. These are all signs of poor circulation in the feet – something which can be greatly improved upon with regular foot massages.
Lower Blood Pressure: High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a serious condition that can increase your risk of suffering a heart attack, stroke or kidney failure. Lifestyle changes including eating the right foods can lower your blood pressure levels significantly, as can regularly massaging your feet.
Injury Prevention and Faster Recovery: Massaging the feet can help with joint pain and aid recovery after an injury, as well as reduce muscle soreness. It can also prevent future injuries such as plantar fasciitis – one of the most common causes of heel pain which sees the thick band of tissue running across the bottom of your foot and connecting your heel bone to your toe becoming painful and inflamed. Too much standing, running, sports involving lots of jumping or hard landing, being overweight and wearing shoes with inadequate support all put you at risk of plantar fasciitis.
Natural Pain Relief: Tired and aching feet can always benefit from a foot rub but did you know that the pain relieving powers of massage don’t end there?Foot massage can actually kill pain in other areas of the body too.
Nail and Skin Health: Regularly using moisturizing natural oils and antimicrobial essential oils on your feet is a fantastic way to ensure healthy, happy skin and nails. Using coconut oil or almond oil can prevent dry, cracked and painful heels that lead to fissures and infections, as well as stopping thick calloused skin forming. Your nails and cuticles will also stay hydrated.
Cure for Swelling of the Legs: Swelling of the legs and feet due to fluid retention, called edema, can often follow on from long periods of sitting or standing. It is also common during pregnancy. It’s important to note that leg and ankle swelling can also signal an underlying issue including kidney disease, heart failure, liver disease and more. Always consult your doctor if in doubt.